Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Short List

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Short List

Article excerpt

The following is a list of ideas and resources to help community volunteers with the task of public relations and fundraising.

The Internet: This is the best first stop to make on your way to building a skatepark. Queries of "fundraising," "build a skatepark," "grants," "community action" and "skatepark planning" will deliver nearly limitless links to information.

The Plan: Go to www.consolidatedskateboards.com and click on "The Plan." Print it. Use it. It's basically a roadmap to use on your way to a new skatepark for your community, with a wealth of information on organizing, fundraising and design issues.

Skatepark.org: This organization can provide the basic education necessary for all aspects of the process. It's a well-organized and comprehensive source of information for planning, fundraising, designing and building a park.

Form a committee: Involve absolutely everyone in your community, but keep your committee small and manageable. According to Andy Andrews, you'll be more effective if your group is small and focused, and doesn't spend a lot of time arguing on direction.

Keep the media informed: Every step you take should be noticed by the local media. This will help you to gain the momentum and community participation you need.

Invite local officials: Any skatepark-related event you organize should include local politicians, city council members, religious leaders, school principals, corporate leaders and local business people.

The IRS: Information on applying for 501(c)(3) status can be found at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/. Look for publication 557.

The Fundraising Resources Center: This group provides an educational resource for fundraising skills as well as a list of links for great sources of money. See http://fund-online.com.

Sell stuff: Kids are great sources of income if you give them something to sell. Visit www.fundraisingweb.org for a list of companies that provide products at low cost for fund drives.

Grants and matching grants: Once you have your 501(c)(3) tax status, you can search for grants to help bolster your fundraising efforts. The best source for grant information is your local librarian.

The Tony Hawk Foundation: Although the demand for funds is huge and the number of grants awarded annually is relatively small, The Tony Hawk Foundation supports skatepark projects in under-served communities that plan free, accessible, permanent parks. …

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